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Old 09-01-2008, 06:48 PM   #16
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


he says it's for a garage light, but not if there is another switch somewhere to have the need for the red. if it's a weird homespun wiring job and that's the only light, i could still be right, no?
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:04 PM   #17
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


The old switch is a 3 way switch, whether or not its actually being used as a 3 way switch is another story. I wired 3 sets of 3 way switches in my garage for different areas and functions. All 3 sets are at the door to the house, one by the workbench for the work lights, 2 by the outside garage door for the garage light and the outside light (both controllable by the house door along with the work lights). So it is very possible he has another 3 way switch on the opposite side of his garage for this same purpose.

If this is the only switch, then this could be properly re-wired to accommodate the switch and outlet combo. The conduit, provided its a solid connection back to the panel or a ground, would be acceptable for a ground connection. Just need to tie a wire to the box and attach the other end to the outlet. Otherwise, it shouldn't be that hard to run 2 additional wires through the conduit just for the outlet (theroticaly you could get away with just running one additional wire provided the hot wire runs to this switch and not the other one).
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:09 PM   #18
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
but.... there's no ground... still confused

DM
what does a ground at the box have to do with anything I posted?

the biggest rpoblem is the OP needs to answer some questions so we know what is what. Until that time, all anybody is doing is guessing and quite possibly wrong.

Last edited by nap; 09-01-2008 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:17 PM   #19
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


yup, we just need to see what tritoon comes back with, but it's fun theorizing. i love a good mystery, don't you?

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Old 09-01-2008, 07:54 PM   #20
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


I found another switch in the garage that also controls the light.

I'll open that and take a picture if it helps.

What exactly does everyone need me to do (what other information are you looking for?)

If there is not a ground wire in the box, how do I test each wire with the ground (a metal pipe? etc...)

Thanks!

Jim.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:58 PM   #21
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


ok, the other switch answers it for me. now it makes sense. nap... your turn.

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Old 09-01-2008, 08:01 PM   #22
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


You should be able to use the metal box as a reference, otherwise an extension cord to a good outlet will work as well for a reference point. Do you use the other switch to control the lights in your garage? The way you say that you found this other switch makes me wonder if this switch was buried somewhere...

If you use both switches, your best option would be to run one additional wire to this box to provide a neutral for the outlet.

I would check the following:
White to solid ground
Black to solid ground
Red to solid ground

Then flip the other switch and check again. If you have a constant hot wire running to this switch, then all you will need is the additional neutral wire.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:05 PM   #23
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
but.... there's no ground... still confused

DM
The conduit might be the ground path.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:10 AM   #24
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


I've lived in this house for almost two years and that is the first time I have used that switch. It's in the right location, but I just never use it (too easy to walk to the switch I do use).

I did three tests with the multimeter.

Test 1 - Check readings by using one wire and wire to lawn (I had a long wire that I stuck into the ground):
Black: 118.8
Red: 118.9
White: 40

Test2 - Turned off the other switch and took readings:
Black: 119
Red: 118.3
White: .29

Test 3 - Check readings by using one wire and outlet box as ground:
Black: 122.2
Red: 122.2
White: 42.8

From the readings, it looks like the box is grounded.

Side question: If someone came in and replaced a section of metal conduit with plastic, that could mess up the ground for other outlets, no?

So there it is - I hope this helps!
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:21 AM   #25
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


if you are now considering replacing conduit, use metal and add the neutral wire as suggested before and you should be able to do what you want to.

DM
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:40 AM   #26
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


I am considering it, but only as a last resort. I would love to find a way to make it work by simply replacing the light switch with a combo unit.

Is there no way to do this with the existing setup?

Thanks,

Jim.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:51 AM   #27
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


nope, i don't see it happening without the extra wire. all here will agree too, i'm sure. sorry.

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:40 PM   #28
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Man, this is just one of those situations where if I were there, it would be so much easier. The readings don;t make a lot of sense.

Here is what you should have IF this is the non-powered end of a 3 way switch system.

all voltages to equipment ground.

one of the wires will be 120 (or there a bouts) and the other traveller wire would read 0. The switchleg (presuming the white wire but it may not be) would be 0.

flipping the other switch would reverse the readings on 2 of the wires.

If this swtich is the hot feed end, one wire would always be hot and both of the other wires would always be 0 regardless of the position of the other switch.

these readings are with the switch we are dealing with removed from the circuit.

So, as you see, the readings you have do not make sense but given they were connected to what is most likely a 3 way switch, they need to read as I explained.

try again with voltages to the box like in the 3rd set of readings. Take readings and then flip the switch and read again.

Quote:
Side question: If someone came in and replaced a section of metal conduit with plastic, that could mess up the ground for other outlets, no?
absolutely. It could cause an unsafe condition.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:11 PM   #29
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
I would love to find a way to make it work by simply replacing the light switch with a combo unit.
What part of "it won't work" don't you understand?



Quote:
What exactly does everyone need me to do
1. Put the switch back in.
2. Run a circuit to where you need the outlet.

If you have conduit all the way from this switch to the other one (I'm thinking you dont) you can simply pull new wires in.


If it's conduit all the way, let us know and we'll tell you how many, what size and how to hook them up.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:31 PM   #30
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
What part of "it won't work" don't you understand?
MdangermouseM asked if I'm considering replacing the wire. That was my response.

I understand no, but I also understand that there are more ways than one. Had you (220/221) been the only person responding to the thread, it would have been closed a long time ago; fortunately, there are others who don't readily accept 'no' and try to think outside the box.

If I respond to a question, like the one above about more readings and it bugs you, then follow another thread and move on. I need help, not an attitude for trying to understand!
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